DIY Pumping

  • [For some context see my post: Encapsulating Crawlspace.]
    Has anyone successfully done any DIY pumping of Aircrete? Specifically I'm looking for a horizontal run of less than 125' and only a few vertical feet. I'm considering a 2 or 3" semi-trash water pump from Harborfreight, but would be interested in other options that have been successful.

  • Major Contributor

    My opinion, and is only an opinion based on what I know and have seen, is that you can not use a water pump from HF for any type of aggregate, including concrete. Concrete pumps are completely difference in their mechanism and you will burn your cheap HF pump within the few first minutes of pumping. If you are good building stuff yourself, you could build a concrete pump or a tesla pump that will be able to move aggregate without burning. Also, the pump might kill your air bubbles, even if it is a concrete pump. You would need to fabricate a special nozzle in which you can inject the foam just prior to pouring and that is separate from the concrete slurry. What you are asking is not impossible, but not easy either. You will be better off using the green dragon or the foam adapter and do several batches in 55 gallon plastic drums before pouring. Hope this helps.

  • Major Contributor

    Yes, I have done a DIY pumping of aircrete. You can see on my YouTube channel.
    What I recommend for pumping aircrete is a steel tank that can be filled with the aircrete and pumped with air pressure.
    In the videos i'm testing 2 things one is the pump two is the aircrete mix. what I don't explain in the video with my mix, is the foam generator i'm using is a commercial grade machine that adds almost 3 gallons of water into the foam. So if I did not have sand in the mix it would have a much higher flow rate. And would have been much lighter and easier to pump with.

  • @Joe but how do you get it out of the 55 gal drum?

  • Sorry to bump this old topic but I live in the Portland area and I am looking into aircrete for my crawlspace floor. I was hoping to speak with the OP to see how his crawlspace was progressing, even if he decided not to use aircrete.



  • @Matthew due to the lack of response, the size of my crawlspace (2200 sq ft), my primary problem (burrowing rodents), and owning that I didn't have the many available hours to do the work (not counting developing/testing aircrete solutions); I opted to have the space prepped and 22 yd^3 of standard concrete pumped in by a specialty outfit in my area (greater Seattle). It took quite a bit of calling around to find somebody that actually had experience with this specific application. It also was not cheap.

  • @nedlugg I considered building a chute, perhaps out of rain gutter, feeding the chute thru my crawlspace vents, and pouring aircrete one 55gal drum at a time. I believe I would have needed in excess of 90 drums worth for my project and needed to "chute" up to 35 ft which would have resulted in a very shallow angle for the chute. As I commented elsewhere I ended up contracting the project using traditional concrete.

  • @Joe I believe the greendragon is no longer in production. I did consider building my own pump. Specifically I was considering a peristaltic style. I found at least one company (Monolithic?) that produces these machines for shotcrete. I also came across some asian videos demonstrating peristaltic concrete pumps.

    I wasn't able to locate some of the critical specialty materials (e.g. 3-4" diameter tubing of appropriate flexibility/durability) and didn't get beyond the thought exercise phase.

  • @h1r0p my crawl is 3000 square feet so I understand the pain. Due to a previous mouse infestation, Ive removed all of the insulation and vapor barrier. Ive replaced all of it with 10 mil and im looking for an inexpensive flooring/rat slab option.

    Im thinking I can mix the aircrete outside and use gravity to feed it onto my crawlspace using a a large diameter hose through a vent hole.
    I can pour it in my spare time.

  • That's the approach I was settling on--pouring through the crawlspace vents. I too considered maybe working on a raise platform to gravity-boost the pressure.

    FWIW, the contractor I used lined the lower few inches of the foundation down over the footer lip with "drain matting". If moisture condensed and ran down the inner foundation wall it would have a small space to continue seeping downward. I suppose a major plumbing leak also would be at least mitigated by this small gap. The matting was anchored directly into the foundation using a hammer drill and manually hammered concrete anchors. I think this product is also referred to as "dimple matting" or "wall drainage". They poured the concrete directly onto 6mil taped plastic right up to the drain mat.

    Plan on your house being more humid for the first couple days as the concrete cures. Since they did mine in one shot we awoke the next morning to tropical humidity and rivulets running down all the windows (it was Dec).

    I closed up my vents a few weeks after the concrete was poured. I plan to finish encapsulating by lining the foundation walls with sheet insulation.

    Best of luck, let us know how it turns out.

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